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Skiers come from all around the Midwest for the chance to race against Olympians.

Rainbow to host rendezvous this weekend

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Rainbow to host rendezvous this weekend
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Let's face it, very few people around here are thrilled to see more snow fly.

But the glass just might be looking half full next week for outdoor enthusiasts interested in hitting the ski trails.

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Rainbow Resort is gearing up for its ninth annual Rainbow Rendezvous XC Ski Races.

The action begins Saturday, March 5 at the Rainbow Resort trails, nine miles east of Waubun, west of Itasca State Park.

The event is open to the public and will include a variety of events for just about any skill level.

They will hold a 16-kilometer Classic-Style race for avid skiers interested in traditional trail skiing, and a 10-kilometer Free-Style race for skiers wanting to "mix it up" off the beaten path.

Amy Xu, a spokesman for the resort, says they had around 70 skiers participate in last year's event, and expects this year to be just as good.

"We are expecting people from all over the mid-west and Canada. Families come here; we get high school students, couples, outdoor enthusiasts, and even Olympian qualifiers," she says.

In past years they've had Olympians such as Bonnie Weiskopf (1992), Chad Giese (2004), and Matt Liebsch (2010), racing in the Rendezvous

"I know the high school kids always love racing against Olympians," says Xu.

It isn't all about speed at this event, though, as many visitors take in a treat ... as in "retreat."

"We really make it a festive atmosphere with music and hot soup. You can do a hilly tour that's just meant to take in the nature and relax, or we have disc golf and other activities that are not competitive, but just for fun," says Xu.

She says the event seems to be growing every year because the sport itself is becoming more popular.

Cross country skiing is what she refers to as a "silent sport," a sport done purely for enjoyment.

"I think more and more people are becoming interested in the type of lifelong sport that is more about living healthy, being fit and enjoying life. And I especially see the kids loving it because once they start to shine, they just get more momentum," says Xu.

For skiers who don't get a prize for winning a competition, there will also be door prizes.

The resort has ski and snowshoe rentals, as well as ski waxing.

Rainbow personnel make weather their business, keeping the latest snow conditions on their website.

To find out more information on the resort and the Rendezvous, go to www.rainbowrendezvous

.com, or give them a call at 1-800-734-1140.

Xu says the races are set to begin at 10 a.m.

"Not too early. Just in time for everybody to get up, have their coffee, and make it here for a fun day!"

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